Building by Subtraction

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8 Responses

  1. drow says:

    i’m generally of the mind that the players should be able to play whatever they want, within reason. except for psionic metal-eating cats. yeah, i drew that line. if i take stuff out of the campaign, its from whatever is left after PC creation. if nobody wants to play an elf, and i need an extinct precursor race, then elves are fair game. or they simply don’t exist, except in the creation myths of the half-elves. weird.

  2. kiveya says:

    I ran a primitive campaign in which all arcane classes were removed completely. All divine classes were reflavored to reflect a world so young that it didn’t even have gods yets. Druids, shamans, rangers, and barbarians were highly influential among the NPC tribes. My goal for that campaign was that the players would themselves become the first gods of that world. Too bad we never finished it : /

  3. Swordgleam says:

    I hate dragonborn. I didn’t want any in my game. They just didn’t fit with the other PHB1 races. Everything else is more or less humanoid, has hair and teeth and fingernails. Dragonborn are giant walking lizards. So I told my players flat-out that I hate dragonborn, and that in my setting, they’re reviled and slaughtered on sight – including (especially) as infants.

    Result? Two of my initial part of four played dragonborn. Of course.

    We got a lot of good roleplaying out of it. One dborn player was a cleric who hid within many layers of robes and cloaks, claiming his religion required it. No one, not even the party, knew he wasn’t human. The other one was the village outcast, struggling to prove his – and his race’s – worth.

  4. DarkTouch says:

    An interesting way to do this without pissing off the players might be to trim your world AFTER character creation. It has been a long time since I’ve run a game that wasn’t Superheros so that may be tainting my viewpoint but I’ve always been a big fan of players create the world sort of situations. So let your players create their characters and take that into account. Not a single player chose human? Humans are the legendary forebearer to all of the current sentients but don’t exist in the world. End up with a Druid, Ardent, Fighter, and Rogue? The gods have been killed by the aberrant incursion destroying divine magic while the last remaining arcanists have been perverted under the control of their tentacled masters. PCs must fight to reclaim their world.

    Fun stuff.

  5. Spiralbound says:

    I completely agree with your points. In my last campaign I subtracted the following: Elves, Halflings, Giants, Dragons, Horses, snow (and other such wintery weather), and psionics. The players had a blast. I also expanded upon what was left behind in such a way that the omissions weren’t ever missed by the players. Everyone who played in my game enjoyed the unique feel that it had and agreed that limiting races, monsters, classes, etc. allowed for much more character development of the setting itself.

  6. Elton says:

    Generally, in my campaign, I’m holding back psionics. I love psionics, don’t get me wrong, but I’m holding them back. Why? I wanted psionics to be the mystery. In the Caithness Isles, psionic characters don’t exist. You have magic throwing classes, but psionics do not exist simply because when the players encounter one they would say — “WHAT IN THE ROYAL HELL IS THAT?”

    I also threw out drow (dark elves). Some monsters don’t work in my campaign, and dragonborn don’t exist either (Wizards is stupid to share but keep their toys, boy what a terrible irony?). The campaign hasn’t been tested and I’m still putting it together. It’s going to be neat, its going to be free for download, and you can copy it, create derivative works, or publish it yourself. And you may buy merchandise or donate, or do both. :)

  7. Thunderforge says:

    I’ve never played in a campaign where there’s been a good reason to throw out a race. When they have been thrown out, the reason has always been “They don’t exist in my world.” When I asked why, the answer pretty much always boiled down to “because I don’t like them.”

    It just seems really arrogant to say that someone else can’t play a race because you don’t like them. It’s all about fun and if people like playing races that you don’t like and find it fun, then let them do it. I find that freedom encourages fun more than restrictions do.

    I’ve never seen classes banned, but I suppose that might be good if there’s a good reason for it. In general though, I always say yes when at all possible.

    • Elton says:

      Eberron is a melting pot, though. Wizards of the Coast specifically billed it as a the campaign setting where you can lump everything in. Wierd things often come up, often inexplicably. Such as the Warlock, Samurai, or Shugenja. The last two inexplicably in a culture where they have no place. There is a lot about Eberron, since being billed that, that defies common sense. I think Greywulf is advocating subtraction because of this fact.

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